Pomodori Gratinati (gratineed tomatoes)

I hemmed and hawed over how to write this little blurb about this recipe. I thought of talking about how the perfect summer tomatoes are so delicious and how the filling is a bit crunchy and so so tasty from the different herbs and 2 cheeses. I must have written 10 drafts and deleted them all. They seemed too wordy for a dish so simple it’s almost silly.

But in the end, what came to mind the most, were my visits to Florence/Tuscany over the last few years. I mean-that makes sense since I found the recipe in my book, Twelve, which is a month by month Tuscan cookbook. But if you’ve been there you’ll understand what I mean when you taste these. If you haven’t been there you need to change that immediately.

It’s amazing how a bite of something can instantly mentally take you out of your kitchen and zip you into a chair at a table on the perimiter of a piazza with a gorgeous plate of cheese and veggies like these and a glass of chianti.

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Pomodori Gratinati

Ingredients:

  • 6 plum tomatoes, vine ripiened, washed and dried
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped small
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp frehsly grated parmesan cheese, plus sprinkle for topping
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, plus sprinkle for topping
  • 1/4-1/3 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 8 tbsp olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Slice the tomato in half from stem to stem and, very gently, using a spoon remove the flesh and seeds-reserving them. Put the tomato halves into a baking dish, cut side up. Chop up some of the reserved insides and set aside.
  3. In a bowl mix the parsley, garlic, basil, cheeses, breadcrumbs and 4 tbsp olive oil. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper if desired. If desired you can also add some of the chopped tomato insides (I added just a bit). Spoon the mixture into the tomato halves.
  4. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake int he oven for 20-30 minutes until they are lightly golden and cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle with extra topping cheese and serve.

Note: since it was only I eating I only made one tomato. It was very easy to scale the recipe down so don’t feel that you have to make all 6 tomatoes.

Adapted from Twelve, A Tuscan Cookbook

This simple and very delicious recipe fit in perfectly with this month’s What’s Baking challenge theme of ‘Italian’. For the other recipes in the swap click here here

WB

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Marinara Sauce

This is my go-to marinara sauce. I make it in large batches at a time and freeze a few ziplock bags and/or containers with about 3 cups or 1 quart capacity. It’s a great base sauce in which to add meat, veggies, herbs etc.. to make it different each time or it’s great on it’s own with pasta, in dishes like lasagna or my eggplant parmesan.

Many people put carrots in their marinara but I don’t. If you prefer to add it by all means do so.  I also only use San Marzano tomatoes. Some argue that the taste is no better than other tomatoes but hey, it’s my sauce and I do taste a difference so I use them:)  If you don’t want to you don’t have to but I ask you to try it at least once-and make sure you get the San Marzanos from Italy. Those famous cans with the white backgrounds and purple and/or red tomatoes on the outside aren’t from Italy-they’re from Jersey. Read the labels.  Spend a little extra for the best quality that you can get.

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Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 small yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 6 medium sized garlic cloves
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 28-32oz cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes (or peeled and crush with a potato masher)
  • 4 bay leaves

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot over medium heat add the olive oil. When it’s hot add the onion and garlic and saute until they’re translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the celery and saute until they’re soft, about another 10 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for between 1 and 3 hours.

If you’re going to package up the sauce for use at another time leave it out to cool. 

Note: if you’re using peeled plum tomatoes you can crush them with the potato masher after you’ve added them to the pot.  Crush as much or as little as you like.

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Tomato, Onion, Bacon and Asiago Fritatta

Saturday morning was breezy and cool and I felt like making something easy and delicious for breakfast. I hunted around in the fridge and had a few tomatoes, an onion and some Asiago to use up.  This fritatta came out great! A little cheesy, a little crunchy from the bacon, and super tasty.

 

Tomato, Onion, Bacon and Asiago Fritatta

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked to desired crunchyness
  • 1 large tomato, diced, seeds removed
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping cup freshly-grated Asiago cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • green onions for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 f.
  2. Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat to desired crunchyness. Remove bacon and place on paper towels to drain.  Leave fat in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Sautee until soft. Add the tomatoes and bacon and then pour the eggs over everything in the pan. Allow it to cook, occasionally running a spatula around the outer rim to prevent sticking. 
  3. When eggs are almost completely cooked through place the pan in the oven until eggs are cooked through.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese on top and put back into the oven for a minute or 2 until cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with green onions, cut and serve.

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